Biblical Insights Into Medicine (Sermon Outline)

I was born and raised as a young child in the exciting times when science was making breakthroughs in medicine. I participated in some of the first polio vaccine injections and later in the oral vaccine. I remember taking penicillin “as is” in orange juice when battling ailments like scarlatina and full-blown scarlet fever. I feel that there have been many times God has used medical science to help mankind. However, there is the “other side of the coin.”

Natural cures and home remedies abounded before God introduced me into the world. Medical science has further developed some of those cures, but the emphasis has been on the non-natural ways.

“Big money” can be made in pharmaceuticals and, while it is a means to “put bread on the table” for many in that industry, the human sin nature sees to it that greed rears its ugly head. I suspect the rash of newly found ailments is partly the result of this.

In the United States, which has become increasingly socialistic, I know for a fact that some unloving parents purposely arrange in various ways that their children are diagnosed with some problem, get the child medicated, and as a result get even more welfare money to waste on a sinful lifestyle.

The word “medicine” occurs only four times in the Holy Bible (Psalm 17:22, Jeremiah 30:13, 46:11, and Ezekiel 47:12). “Medicine” is not found in the New Testament (NT), but there is a Greek word translated in the NT as healing/s that the ancients also used to state the word “medicine.” We will get to that word later.

As stated above, God has blessed some people with knowledge to help mankind in dealing with ailments, but the sin nature of humans has dug another pit. Let us first consider what the world has done, then what God desires in the light of Holy Scripture.

I. The World’s Way

 Rev. 9:21- Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Pharmakeia

Image created and edited by author.

When people get prescription medicine they often go to a pharmacy. Such medications / drugs are call pharmaceuticals, and the study of them is called pharmacology. These terms (pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, etc.) come from the Greek word “pharmakeia” found in the NT. However, it is NOT translated as “medicine.” 

What does pharmakeia and its forms mean? Thayer{1} points out it did originally mean drug, but was used more for poisoning (Plato), and in the NT for magical arts and sorcery (never translated medicine in NT or LXX). Pharmakeia is used in Revelation 9:21 and is translated as “sorceries.”

Good Intentions Go Awry

While modern human medicines had started out with good intentions, it seems to me things went haywire in the 1960s and have just gotten worse as time progresses.  

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